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Discussion Starter #1
I have been struggling with determining if I need a different length of shock towers. For one when I try to put the angled side flat against the frame the top hits the inner fender prior to the bottom being flush with the frame.

Specs:
85' Runner with AP extreme lift. Has not been driven more then around the block. I have 3" AP springs, AP drop hanger, 1.5" longer shackles. I have the 15.5" shock towers. Tower measurements on the picture. Bilistein 5100 seriers 12" travel.

Shock measurements:
29" fully extended
17" fully

Test:
Last night I pulled my driver side tire up on a concrete ramp at a truck dock. I stopped once the rear drivers side tire started to spin. Rear passenger tire was fully compressed. (spring was flat & tire hitting fender) The front passenger tire was on the ground touching. (I don't believe much weight was on the tire) I took measurements

Results:
I used the very top of the inner fender mold just above where the old shock used to sit. I determined that this would be close to where the top of the shock would mount if it fit. Front shackles are straight up and down.

Flat ground distance 25.5"
Compression(Dr side) 22"
Flex (pass side) 28"

Seems as though I have 6" of travel.... Doesn't sound right. :confused: How should I set up my shock towers??? If need be I plan to either cut them down or have some custom made.
 

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Tower height

From your dimensions, your shocks allow 12 inches of travel and that is not bad. Most suspensions are set up allowing only a small amount of 'stuff', and most of the travel is in the 'droop'. Using your numbers, you could set it up with about 4 inches of stuff, allowing the suspension to droop about 8 inches. If that was the case, with the truck setting at rest, measure between the upper and lower shock mounting bolts. This distance should be around 21 inches.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
mudratz said:
From your dimensions, your shocks allow 12 inches of travel and that is not bad. Most suspensions are set up allowing only a small amount of 'stuff', and most of the travel is in the 'droop'. Using your numbers, you could set it up with about 4 inches of stuff, allowing the suspension to droop about 8 inches. If that was the case, with the truck setting at rest, measure between the upper and lower shock mounting bolts. This distance should be around 21 inches.
If I use the shock towers I was sent with the kit "as is" I suspect I would have 25.5" at rest. So basically your saying I should cut about 4" out of my shock towers?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
GRMhick said:
Were you backing up the ramp, or driving forward?

This time, drive backwards up the ramp, without the shocks and see if your measurments change.
I was driving forward up the ramp with my drivers side tire up on the ramp as high as possible. Both rear tires were on the ground off of the ramp. Drivers rears was spinning so it was barely touching the ground. Passenger front was on the ground off of the ramp.
 

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I mounted my towers up through the inner liner of the front fender made a small cut I_I kind of like that and bent it up a little for the extra clearance to fit the towers in as high as possible on the frame.

this just gave me more versatility on my lower shock mount positioning.

allowing me to run longer shocks

I have the sky towers
 

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Discussion Starter #8
jvmin said:
I mounted my towers up through the inner liner of the front fender made a small cut I_I kind of like that and bent it up a little for the extra clearance to fit the towers in as high as possible on the frame.

this just gave me more versatility on my lower shock mount positioning.

allowing me to run longer shocks

I have the sky towers
What size shocks are you running? What size springs? What are the measurements?
 

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i am swapping in the rears up front with a a mix of packs and am still in the middle of it. I had the same problems you are speaking of about the frame position so I cut out the fenders a little. to allow the towers to go flat against the frame.

the shocks haven't been ordered yet but I am looking at the 15 inch shocks that sky is offering. the truck right now has 3 inch downey fronts and the articulation well let's just say lack of articulation has made me want to swap the rears up front.

I got a set of rears from an 89 and plan on using these along with some of the leafs from my downey rears just because of all the extra weight I have up front. Bucik V6 winch heavy front bumper and other stuff. but as for measurements I will have to let you know when I get it all installed.

what spring towers did you purchase and how much over stock are they where you have them mounted.

I am looking to run 13-15 inch shocks up front with the set up i have.

will know for sure once it's all in the truck. it's all in the garage at the moment

i am looking for around 2-3 inches of lift and a whole lot more droop i am trying to stay the same height I am at now if I can. sagged downey's give me about an inch of lift and with the chevies in the rear it has about 3 inches so I am shooting to get the front around that as well.

the downey set up ran 10 inch shocks and i was never close to extending them fully because of the springs. if the rears up front will get me anything over that I will be happy.

Oh yeah I am with the other comment that said to back it up the ramp it will put full weight of the truck on the front and fully compress it for a better measurement.

it would be better if you knew someone with a forklift since you could lift one wheel at a time and fully compress and extend each corner and get the correct measurements

when I checked the compression on the downey set up I attached the winch to a machine frame at work and winched it down until it was fully compressed as far as it would go almost lifting the rear tires. my bump stops gave me about a 3/4 inch clearance at the pan with stops fully compressed as well. I had to make special bump stops for the engine swap clearancing.

then in a different test I lifted one tire at a time into the air with the fork lift to check for articulation clearances and got the fully extended brake line measurements at that time as well. also turning the wheels lock to lock at each wheel lift.

sorry i couldn't help you with the measurements yet but will as soon as i get them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Anyone else have information/advice? How much spring settling I should account for?? I don't have anything heavy up front. (no winch or heavy bumper)
 

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You should have bumpstops in place so spring settle will not be an issue, and will make shock mount placement simple. Get the shocks you want and weld the mounts on so the axle bottoms out on the bumpstop before the shock. (to do this drive a back tire up the ramp so the weight is on the front to fully compress the spring)
 
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